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The Milk Ladder

For the first 4 months of Ellie’s life she struggled. I chose to bottle feed because I knew breastfeeding wasn’t for me. I made that decision while pregnant with Jason and no amount of facts would change my mind so Ellie has been on formula since day 1. She took to the ready made milk well and was a very hungry guzzler. She refused to drink from any other teat than the NUK bottles which meant on day 3 we needed to buy new bottles!! 

It was after a couple of weeks that she had started showing signs of reflux, she was sick all the time, so much that she grew to love the muslin cloths and wouldn’t sleep without one. She would cry for hours and couldn’t be comforted. Her stomach was as hard as a rock and she was so bloated, it was painful to see. She went through bouts of constipation and diarrhoea for months on and off and nobody could explain what was wrong. To ease her pain we were having to use Vaseline on her to ease the constipation…which BTW worked EVERY time!! I hated seeing her in pain and our GP was useless! Wasn’t bothered and just thought I was a scared “first time mum” who had lost a baby. Nobody was concerned for her as she was eating and putting weight on fine. 

It was at 3 months old where I was told to try her on lactose free milk as there was a possibility she was lactose intolerant but our GP wouldn’t diagnose without trialling it first. So we did, we changed her milk and trialled it for a week. Her symptoms didn’t change and finally our GP wanted to see us. I was ready for a fight as by this point she had been poorly for 4 months and I knew my mental health wasn’t going to get any better if we didn’t sort it. 

We were then given a prescription formula that was dairy free as he thought she might have an intolerance to the protein in cows milk. He didn’t say anything else but to try it. Since then the formula has worked, her symptoms improved instantly and I was so grateful. He didn’t feel the need for an appointment after a period of time and so hasn’t seen her at all. I must say he made the diagnoses of CMPI over the phone and hasn’t seen her since her 6 week check up!! My faith in our local GP surgery isn’t great anyway but with Ellie I don’t trust it at all.

I did some research of my own and found that she should have been seen by a dietician (NOPE) and when she turned one there should be a plan in place to start introducing milk and milk products as most Cmpi babies are able to tolerant dairy from 9-12 months. (Again nothing). I have felt so alone in dealing with Ellie’s cmpi apart from a few Instagram accounts which specify in the parents own cmpi babies diets. Without those I think we would still be eating puréed carrots and mashed bananas! 

We have since dabbled with the milk ladder and I am still trying to get my head around how to go about it but if I am honest i am at the point where I don’t want to include our GP as I want to prove we can do it on our own as we have from day 1 really. 

I hope to make a good start on the milk ladder and keep a note of the things she has tried and how far we have gotten. I know it may not work but I feel like we just have to try. Finding ways of getting her to get calcium in her diet is really hard when lately she has become more fussy with her eating so to get dairy in her would help so much. 


Wife & Mum of 2; Jason born and died 29/03/15 and Ellie born 01/11/16. Hoping to break the silence around baby loss and the journey of parenting a rainbow baby one blog post at a time.

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